Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

From refugee, to hospital cleaner, to national hero

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Hospital cleaner, Hassan Akkad, pulled at the nation’s heartstrings when he Tweeted a video in May with an urgent message to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. In the video, shot in his car wearing his NHS hospital scrubs, an emotional Hassan complained to Mr Johnson that he felt “stabbed in the back”. Why? Because the government had […]

Do we want to be a part of Europe or apart?

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Because of Brexit, Britain is rapidly propelling away from Europe, involving the loss of free trade, and free movement of people, with our neighbouring countries. Is that really what Britain wants? The UK government seems determined to close all possibilities of a successful new relationship with our closest countries on our continent. Instead, we’re moving away from […]

An insult to all EU citizens in Britain

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In a celebratory Tweet, Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced the end of ‘free movement’. She wrote: ‘We’re ending free movement to open Britain up to the world. It will ensure people can come to our country based on what they have to offer, not where they come from.’ Her Tweet is an insult to […]

Britain cut-off from the mainland

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‘Visit Europe from 1 January 2021’ is the title of the UK government website which ironically tells you how much more difficult visiting ‘Europe’ will be from next year. Yes, we’re getting our country back (really?) but instead, we’re losing our continent, or at least, easy access to it. Among some of the key points for […]

Brexit crash on top of a pandemic crash. You really want that?

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A no-deal Brexit now looks almost certain, with the latest round of talks between the UK and the EU ending in stalemate, and the negotiations by all accounts turning acrimonious. It’s almost as if the British government wants a no-deal, even though the non-binding ‘political statement’ of the Withdrawal Agreement, approved by the UK Parliament, […]

After the war, Europe needed to find a new way

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This Bank Holiday weekend we have celebrated VE Day – Victory in Europe, and the end at last, in May 1945, of our continent’s most devastating and brutal war. We especially remember those who fought so hard and valiantly to save us from the menacing march of the ferocious Nazi war machine. Yes, we won, […]

Negotiation theory and extending transition

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This post originally appeared on the UK in a Changing Europe website. The return of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings to Number 10 has seen a significant ramping-up of the British rhetoric on the negotiations around the future partnership with the EU. That’s not merely meant stronger words about refusing an extension of the talks, […]

Be careful what you wish for, Priti Patel

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Sometimes it takes the extreme and sudden loss of something to fully appreciate its true value. When Home Secretary, Priti Patel, gleefully told her Tory faithful at the party’s annual conference last October that she was going to “end free movement of people once and for all” she could hardly have had any idea just […]

The Netherlands doesn’t understand Southern Europe’s pain

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In the Netherlands, the public underestimates how much Southern Europe has already suffered. And how we benefited ourselves, says Joris Melman, analysing the Dutch stance in the negotiations on the EU’s economic responses to the corona crisis. The Dutch stance in the EU negotiations about the economic response to the corona crisis has sparked criticism […]

The difficult role of consumer groups in the shaping of financial regulation

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Although European financial regulation directly affects citizens as consumers, it is only to a limited extent exposed to public debate. There has also been widespread criticism that European regulators were too close to the financial sector, both before and after the financial crisis. The EU introduced permanent advisory councils, so-called Stakeholder Groups, to include more […]

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